Jim Lighthizer announces the American Battlefield Trust.
American Battlefield Trust
I have some very exciting news!
Today, after years of preparation and consultation, I have the honor and privilege to tell you we have decided to create an umbrella organization called the American Battlefield Trust.
As you know, four years ago we expanded our mission to include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields. In that time, the Trust has accomplished much and introduced ourselves to countless new supporters. And we did so without compromising our commitment to Civil War history and preservation.
That being said, while I am immensely proud of the achievements of the Civil War Trust, it has been clear to me for some time that the Civil War Trust name no longer fully conveys who we are and what we do.
Before I say another word, I want to emphasize that the Civil War Trust is not going away. It becomes the largest and most active division under the American Battlefield Trust umbrella. There will be no diminishment of our efforts to save Civil War battlefield land and promote knowledge of Civil War history. You have my word on that.
In addition, our successful Campaign 1776 initiative becomes the Revolutionary War Trust — another division under the American Battlefield Trust banner. With the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding only a few short years away, there is no better time to be preserving the battlefields of our War for Independence.
And, as we have done from the very beginning of this organization, we will continue to give members and supporters such as yourself the opportunity to give to the projects that speak most deeply to you. If you prefer to support our Civil War mission primarily, you absolutely can still do that. If you’re like many members and are starting to support more Revolutionary War preservation efforts here and there — such as our recent efforts at Princeton, saving the land where George Washington turned the tide of the American Revolution — you can do that, too.
We will also be providing you with new opportunities to give to our educational programs, which seek to inspire a new generation of Americans to learn about the conflicts that defined our nation.
I understand that you may have some questions about all of this, and that change is often challenging, but as I tell the staff all the time: Change is constant. I would encourage you to visit our website at its new address at www.battlefields.org and learn about the American Battlefield Trust.
Very soon, this organization will hit the milestone of 50,000 acres saved. This will be a tremendous accomplishment, attributable to you and the nearly 50,000 members and supporters who have given so generously to save this hallowed ground. I can’t thank you enough.
But to get to the next level of success — in this dangerous era of skyrocketing land prices and plummeting appreciation for our nation’s history — and to protect the next 50,000 acres of hallowed ground that must be saved, I believe we must have a name that reflects our three-war mission.
I hope you will join me for this next chapter in our nation’s battlefield preservation story: the American Battlefield Trust.
’Til the battle is won.
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